I use to always think if I needed help I would run to the police department. For example if I were being followed by an unknown vehicle. I direct people begging for money to the local police department. However, I don’t know anymore…and that saddens me. Repeated incidents of police officers shooting unarmed men or shooting those posing no threat have worn me down. Add to this the officers involved in the deaths of Freddie Gray and Eric Gardner incidents that get no jail time and it becomes a heavy weight of despair. I know all police officers are not bad or intolerant but I do know many do exist. I’m forever an optimist but also very much a realist. And the unvieling of the injustice via digital media and the continual unjustified shooting of black men has worn away a significant amount of my optimism.
You want to know why there is a black lives matter movement? It’s for incidents like recently in Florida when a health care worker searching for an autistic patient does what he is told is still shot. A black man doing his job was shot by a cop even when he was complying. It’s because the cop actually said he didn’t know why he shot the man & admitted to having aimed for the autistic man playing with a toy truck. This was similar to another incident where an adult male was mentally incapable of understanding police orders and was tasered.
My husbands best friend has a 20-something year old autistic son. This could have easily been him in the mentioned situatuion. I’m pushing on the political activism end. I am using my words via blogs, letters, and with my local Democratic party but we all have to suit up and make it known black lives matter. Yes, I know all lives matter but right now the target is on the bodies of black men, even when they do as told. Let’s make it known via the beloved matter called currency; so via your wallets and the daily choices we make. Eye for eye leads to more blood shed, I truly believe violence is not the answer nor is anarchy. We are better than that…our blood line comes from African kings & queens so let us act as such.
What can you do? Contact local law enforcement and work with them in your communities. Contact local elected officials let them know your concerns. Be present in your neighborhoods and call out those elements who may not be uplifting but criminal in nature. Yes, I know we must also have opportunities to provide criminal elements another avenue. However, we only uplift with identifying all components that deteriorate our communities and must be strong in that acknowledgement. All of these things are needed in combination to make it know we are not merely existing but human beings and citizens worthy and deserving of full rights…each and every day. Whether we are in a poor neighborhood or a high end neighborhood..driving a fancy car we deserve respect.
We’ve struggled since the first slave ship landed in Jamestown. But we must take ownership of our identity and be present in all human capacities. Don’t give up but be present where it matters. Let your voice be heard in every capacity…and more than ever via the ballot box. There is much we can do and it starts locally with us. Enough is enough; my husband is a black man and he matters; my brother in laws are black men and they matter; my father in law is a black man and he matters, my sister in law is a black woman and she matter, my niece is a black child and she matters, I am a black woman and I matter!
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